Gus Malzahn wins Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn will add another award to his collection after being named the Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year.
Malzahn was the face of an astonishing turnaround in his first season calling the shots for the Tigers. After going 3-9 in 2012 and winless in league play, Auburn finished 2013 at 12-2 (7-1) and came within seconds of a BCS National Championship.
The first-year coach has been an inspiration to his players and will look to continue the team's success the rest of the decade after receiving a six-year, $26.85 million extension Dec. 6, 2013.
Malzahn and Bryant are similar: both are from Arkansas, both coached teams in Alabama and both had remarkable turnaround seasons in their inaugural years. Few coaches share the same love for football that these two resonate through their early achievements and evident passion.
Bryant led his alma mater Alabama to a 5-4-1 record in 1958 after the school won only four combined games the previous three years. Bryant helped revive the Tide from the woes of the '50s. Many believe it to be the worst decade in Alabama football history.
Malzahn finished ahead of Rice's David Bailiff, Baylor's Art Briles, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio and Stanford's David Shaw for the award. Former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum received the Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award.